Bystander Intervention Training for Law Firms

Image shows a woman in the foreground, looking uncomfortable. In the background, a group of men appears to be talking about her. The image accompanies a story on harassment prevention training for law firms.

Did you know that anyone can be an active bystander? The city of Chicago believes in this so strongly that they have recently mandated organizations to provide bystander training for all employees. And our partners at Kantola are responding with bystander intervention training for law firms.

As a complement to Kantola’s award-winning Harassment Prevention training, we are now offering a dedicated course on Bystander Intervention training for law firms that will empower all of your organization’s employees to step up and prevent harassment.  

Here’s the basic premise: Anyone who witnesses a harmful or potentially harmful situation is a bystander. With the right training, all employees can become active bystanders—helping to build a respectful and harassment-free work environment. 

Employees taking this course will learn how to become active bystanders—people who intervene to protect others from potentially harmful behavior. They will watch relatable scenes, hear real-life workplace stories through candid interviews, and receive guidance on different techniques for intervening. And their learning will be reinforced through interactive exercises that enable them to better understand their options for responding to sensitive situations. 

To help you understand the full value of bystander intervention training, let’s take a deeper look at how it can be most effective. 

Training is about more than what not to do 

Traditional old-school harassment prevention training focuses solely on what NOT to do. Paradoxically, this can backfire, mainly if it is poorly done and full of cliches and tired narratives. Research from Frank Dobbin, professor of sociology at Harvard University, and Alexandra Kalev, associate professor of sociology at Tel Aviv University, shows that such training can have an opposite of the desired effect, where harassers are more likely to blame the victims than they were before the training. 

Bystander intervention training for law firms circumvents this cycle by adding a new dimension. The key to this is that rather than positioning people as either victims or harassers, it assumes good intent on the part of all participants. Everyone is engaged in spotting harassing behavior and stepping in to help. This kind of constructive engagement puts everyone on the same level and in a better place to contribute positively. 

The power of Bystander Intervention training for law firms

When organizations consider whether to embark on higher-level harassment prevention, it’s essential to understand what they will accomplish. Aside from meeting Chicago’s requirements, here are the kind of outcomes you can expect when you complement harassment prevention training with bystander intervention. 

Expected outcomes

  • People will feel included —Because they are being engaged to provide support, it will feel positive and inclusive. It puts people on a level playing field—no one feels targeted or put on the spot. 
  • The approach is disarming —No one is automatically pinned as a harasser. Participants will be more likely to lay down their defenses. Instead of being accused or portrayed as victims, they are being asked to help. 
  • It’s empowering —If people feel that they have permission to step in, they are more likely to do so. Any fear of reprisal will be diminished if intervention is not just encouraged but expected. 
  • It’s been proven to work —Bystander intervention is most potent because it stops harassing behavior before it goes any further to become a more significant problem. 
  • The positive outcome spreads —When one bystander intervention is successful, it may be observed by others who will then repeat that positive behavior. 
  • Brings out our best qualities—With proper guidance, intervention brings out our best human qualities. It fosters empathy and creates awareness and understanding.
  • Creates a safer environment—Once the idea of intervention is considered standard, it fosters an atmosphere where people feel safe and comfortable.
  • Reshapes the workplace culture —When people feel safe and supported, they are more likely to feel valued. And with that rise in confidence, retention stabilizes, innovation increases, and the entire organization is poised for tremendous success. 

Bystander intervention training for law firms has the potential to be transformational for an organization, especially when it complements an immersive harassment prevention training experience. When shaped and executed correctly, it can have a substantial impact. It will be both in what you see (excellent connectivity, awareness, and understanding), and in what you don’t see (de-escalation of harassing behavior and the problems that come with it). The journey will be enlightening, and the rewards can be significant. 

If you would like to learn more about Kantola’s bystander intervention training for law firms, contact Savvy today. 

About Kantola

Kantola is an innovative eLearning company focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion and harassment prevention training solutions. They have many eLearning products that are perfect compliance courses for law firms. The company has partnered with Littler, the world’s largest labor and employment practice. Together, these two powerhouses work with top Hollywood talent and instructional design to create the highest quality and most engaging eLearning experience available in compliance. 

Kantola’s interactive elements help participants gain new insights about others and discover personal and practical ways to affect positive change. After training, learners rate Kantola courses a 9.1 out of 10, and 97% report they can better identify and deal with issues.

Would you like a short demo of Kantola’s products? Book a short demo!


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